Tuesday 20 March 2018

Fianna Fail: government is 'incoherent and shambolic' but we will support it

TD says response to whistleblower crisis was 'shambolic', but there was no 'malicious intent'

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher Picture: Tom Burke
Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher Picture: Tom Burke
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Fine Gael "need to pull their socks up", but Fianna Fáil will support them in a motion of no-confidence today, a TD said.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher said Fine Gael's response to the whistleblower crisis has been "shambolic", but said he did not believe there was any "malicious intent" on the Taoiseach's part.

"We came to some arrangement that we would have some form of government," Mr Kelleher told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"This week, their response to the situation was quite incoherent, but we still have an obligation to ensure we have a government.

"Fine Gael need to pull up their socks," he added.

"The response was shambolic and it remains to be seen how they handle the rest of the tribunal, with regards to the terms of reference, whether they bring about the tribunal and whether it brings out the truth. If not, there will be serious consequences.

"We are confident [Fine Gael] will obligate our terms of reference."

With regards to the Taoiseach's "inaccurate information", Mr Kelleher said he does "not think there was any malicious intent to mislead the Dáil or the public".

"It is so important to differentiate, I do not think there was any malicious intent.. I think it was an incoherent and shambolic response.

"But I do not think there was any intent on the Taoiseach's part to mislead."

He added; "We simply have to get to the truth of the matter".

Mr Kelleher said it was of utmost importance that the government remain in place for stability and said, as a result, Fianna Fáil would be supporting Fine Gael in the motion today.

"We won't be supporting the Sinn Féin motion," he continued.

"We won't be bringing down the government.

"We have said consistently we will not just undermine this government on a continual basis, we will try to ensure we have a stable government.

"What we would be doing is plunging this country into instability in very uncertain times."

He added Maurice McCabe and his family should be everybody's priority this week.

Earlier this week, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was scathing of the Sinn Féin intervention to table a confidence motion.

“(Pursuing ministers) to answer in the Dáil, to be accountable to Dáil members - that would have been the more intelligent and sincere thing to do in my view rather than just slap down a motion of confidence which means the entire week will just be on the confidence motion.”

“Ministers can be protected now from coming in (to be questioned) and I hope that is not the case.”

Fianna Fáil will abstain on the Sinn Féin motion, warning that there is no desire for an election.

“I don’t think the Irish people want a general election every few months. But people are very, very angry about the way in which a good and decent person (Maurice McCabe) was treated.”

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